Double Fine Productions Shifting From Work For Hire To Complete Independence

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Double Fine Productions is no stranger to the games industry. From cult hits like Psychonauts to their recent downloadable titles like Iron Brigade, people care about the characters and worlds Tim Schafer and co. represent. Its recent success was a $3.3 million dollar Kickstarter campaign to create a new adventure title, currently known as Double Fine Adventure, that was completely funded independently by gamers like yourself. It showed that the gaming industry can care about the little guys and how people still want adventure-style games without the need of a big name publisher.

In an interview with Venture Beat, Justin Bailey, the vice president of business development at Double Fine talked about its plans for the future. It involves being completely independent and using crowd-funding for their upcoming games. Bailey said:

“We’re making a switch from console work-for-hire and going to direct to consumer and free-to-play projects, That process has taken place over the last 18 months.”

Quite a leap for the developer to abide the usual “find a publisher” deal but Tim Schafer remains positive about the upcoming change:

“We are always on the lookout for ways to break the traditional mold for game funding. So when we see new opportunities come up — like Kickstarter, angel investment, or other alternative funding models — even though they might seem new and risky at the time, they are also very attractive to us. Because, let’s face it, anything beats the traditional game funding model. It’s like a loan with a really horrible interest rate. No revenue usually until you’ve not just paid back the development cost, but paid it back many times over. Plus, lots of entanglements with intellectual property usually.”

It’s recently gotten into self-publishing with Steam being their latest endeavours re-releasing its downloadable titles like Costume Quest or Stacking and Iron Brigade on August 13. Double Fine haven’t released a Free-to-Play title yet, with the upcoming The Cave being published by Sega. But who’s to say what kind of F2P title they’ll make? Bailey talked about the transition the industry is making:

“We are now majority-funded by crowdfunding or outside investment. By next year, hopefully that transition will be complete,”

What do you think about this new change for Double Fine? For the better or for the worse? Let us know down below or in the forums and keep a look out for their upcoming titles in 2013.

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